By Jonathan Ekene Ifeanyi
A group in the “Church” of England says it will shift the language of worship to call God a female, just to be fair, and to combat sexism, says Berean Research. So instead of praying “Our Father, Who art in heaven”, we will now have to say, “Our Mother, who art in heaven...”
Critics have derided the proposal as a case of political correctness gone mad.
The “Rev” Emma Percy, chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford, said the dominance of male language makes women feel that they are less holy. She is a member of Watch (Women and the Church), the group that helped win the argument for female “bishops” in the Church of England, and says using the word ‘She’ for God would be “more inclusive.”
The group feels that the ideas of King, Lord and Father are too “one-sided”: “If we continue to address our worship to an almost exclusively male God then we are failing God, because God is so much more than anybody can ever understand.”
The women “priests” behind the idea argued that using ‘He’ suggests men are closer to God and called for the tables to be turned on sexism in the “Church.”
The “Rev.” Emma Percy (right) is among those campaigning to refer to God as 'She' in prayers, hymns, art and in “church” services.
“When we use only male language for God we reinforce the idea that God is like a man and, in doing so, suggest that men are therefore more like God than women,” she told The Sunday Times last week.
“This means that women can see themselves as less holy and less able to represent Christ in the world. If we take seriously the idea that men and women are made in the image of God, both male and female language should be used.”
The Rev Kate Bottley, “vicar” of St Mary and St Martin’s, in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, told the paper that she and other “priests” had quietly dropped references to ‘He’ and ‘Him’ when referring to God.
Gogglebox star and “Vicar”, Kate Bottley, of St Mary and St Martin's, in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, is among those who have removed references to 'He' and 'Him' in services where possible.
And Hilary Cotton, chairman of Watch, said the idea had been discussed by a Lambeth Palace committee exploring the experiences of women in the “Church”, known as the ‘transformations steering group’. She added: “We have conversations among that group and we are working towards working with those who are involved in liturgy in the Church of England.”
“We are at a very, very preliminary stage in terms of shifting the language of worship.” She went on to say: “The question of how might we rewrite the services of the Church of England in a way that broadens our understanding of God is a difficult question over which we will wrestle for a number of years. This has arisen now because of a change in gender culture.”
She said the fact that Christianity emerged during the Roman empire meant the ideas of King, Lord and Father were central to the Church, adding: “If we continue to address our worship to an almost exclusively male God then we are failing God, because God is so much more than anybody can ever understand.”
The “Reverend” Libby Lane became the first female “bishop” in a service conducted by the “Archbishop” of York, John Sentamu, in January.
But she insisted that a female God was “not a campaigning issue in the same way that getting women bishops was”, adding: “This is more about experiment. To encourage people to expand their imagery of God.” A spokesman for Lambeth Palace said: “The transformations steering group is an independent group made up of women clergy exploring issues relating to the reception of women in ministry.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury offers a meeting space at Lambeth Palace, but does not have a formal role in the group or participate in its discussions. Any change in the formal liturgy of the Church of England would require consent, revision and final approval of the General Synod. Even prior to that point, there would need to be substantial consultation with the Liturgical Commission.”
It is now more than 20 years since the first woman was “ordained” as a Church of England “priest”, and the first woman “bishop” – the “Rev.” Libby Lane – was “consecrated” this year.
On Saturday, May 30, Miss Widdecombe, who left the “Church” of England and became a Catholic over the decision to ordain women as “priests”, said: “God clearly isn’t a She as a She can’t be a father. This is plain silly, unbiblical and ridiculous. I think it’s the work of a few lunatics.”
But any Catholic who thinks this madness can only be witnessed in the “Church” of England or in other Protestant “churches” is just deceiving himself. In this regard, particularly on the issue of women leaders in the Church, defenders of Jorge Bergoglio have always quoted him: “On the ordination of women, the church has spoken and said no. John Paul II, in a definitive formulation said that door is closed.”- July 28, 2013.
However, the same Mr. Bergoglio, ever tactically confusing in his speeches, vomited the following just two months after:
“It is necessary to broaden the opportunities for a stronger presence of women in the church. I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of ‘female machismo,’ because a woman has a different make-up than a man. But what I hear about the role of women is often inspired by an ideology of machismo.” – September 30, 2013, interview with America Magazine.
“Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity. We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the church. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman. Only by making this step will it be possible to better reflect on their function within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church.” - September 30, 2013, interview with America Magazine.
“The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general.” – Evangelii Gaudium, November 24, 2013.
“We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church. Because “the feminine genius is needed in all expressions in the life of society, the presence of women must also be guaranteed in the workplace and in the various other settings where important decisions are made, both in the Church and in social structures.” - Evangelii Gaudium, November 24, 2013.